The editor; the almighty content editor; the amazing stupendous creation of unstoppableness.
Okay, it could look better. It is, after all, C# and WinForms. But it is a start of something greater.
Above, you will see the "concept" of the video game being effectively drawn out. The game, as you can probably tell, is called Age of Atlantis. There are many things we can talk about the video game, but I think it is best discussed later as more features are implemented.
The editor itself is called StoryDev. This is actually a scripting engine written in Haxe, which allows for writing interactive stories in a way that makes sense. Above, you see that the editor contains more than just story writing, though. It contains the data which is to be expected for the video game, Age of Atlantis, but not necessarily for any other video game.
Naturally, StoryDev is called StoryDev because it won't just be for making my own video games. It will become publicly available once it is at a reasonable stage.
Now, you can consider these posts to be your walkthrough guide for StoryDev for when it is finally released.
It may be worth discussing what is currently in the editor prior to adding more features.
Referring to the image above, we have a place in the editor for character editing. It is very simple and most of what you see is self-explanatory.
For those items that are not so self-explanatory, I will explain.
- Dialogue Colour: If implemented into a video game, you would consider this the colour used to highlight the character's name when their dialogue appears on-screen.
- Initial Attitude: To make interactivity between characters more interesting, attitude is a feature of StoryDev that, if implemented at the game level, would allow you to determine what dialogue appears depending on certain character attitudes. This goes hand-in-hand with the attitudes each character has towards other characters.
- Attitudes towards other characters is a factor in figuring out what characters should say to each other in certain contexts. Yes, it can make designing and conceptualising interactive stories a lot harder, but we can discuss how to make this easier for ourselves later.
- Traits are actually whatever that character personally wishes to achieve, and by progressing them you would increase their overall attitude and make them happier. In practice, this could be the difference between making the game easier for yourself or more difficult.
If we ever have non-player characters, which we will, they will be associated to a certain group. When we make decisions in conversation, whichever groups that coexist with the conversation will change their "frequency" which affects their overall attitude towards the player.
For example, if I were to decide to make a decision that has a negative consequence towards the group "Cultists", then my frequency with them lowers. That is then reflected in conversations the lower that frequency goes down. Higher frequency would give us more options.
Since cultists within the context of Age of Atlantis are generally not so forgiving of the player, being given conversational choice is a good thing and you would want to keep it that way even if the cultists generally do not like you and have an overall political agenda which they keep secret from you, regardless of decisions that you make. You may be able to influence their actions towards you, but only by so much. You may escape trouble from time-to-time if you keep making the right decisions.
In the above image, you find two options besides the name, which are:
- Default Frequency Rate: If you make a decision that affects your frequency, it also affects the frequency of the group. This rate is effectively a multiplier of that frequency. Lower multiplier rates increases the amount of frequency reduced, and lowers the amount of frequency gained, while higher multiplier rates increases frequency gained and lowers frequency reduced.
- Initial Frequency: This is the frequency we start with with the group when we create a new game.
Currently, nothing else has been fully implemented yet, but this is actually around the time when things get more interesting.
Next, I will be starting work on the Journal system, which includes writing inline code (parsed into the text editor) and creating rewards.